Condé Nast has promoted Whembley Sewell from executive editor to editor in chief of its LGBTQ+ brand, Them, the company announced today.
Sewell’s new title comes after joining Them in January 2019 from her role as a channel manager at Teen Vogue. She also advises the international media company on LGBTQ+ issues.
“Whembley is not only a brilliant editor, but a passionate champion of the LGBTQ+ community, tirelessly bringing new voices and perspectives to Them,” said Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue and U.S. artistic director and global content adviser at Condé Nast, in a statement. “She has done such a tremendous job growing Them’s platform, and I look forward to seeing how she continues to lead the brand forward as editor in chief.”
At the time Sewell joined Them, she effectively replaced Phillip Picardi, who left Condé to lead Out Magazine (a role he has since vacated).
Sewell was credited with growing the digital brand by increasing its Instagram follower base and attracting record-breaking views to the site, which saw traffic upticks in April, May and June. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Condé Nast has also invested in virtual events and used the Them brand to put on a virtual Pride celebration in June.
“It’s an honor to lead the team at Them as we continue to amplify the LGBTQ+ voices and stories that are shaping the future of our world for the better,” Sewell said in a statement.
Condé Nast has had a difficult summer navigating criticism over how it fosters a fair and diverse workplace, making headlines when vp of video Matt Duckor left the company when homophobic and racist tweets resurfaced, and Adam Rapoport, former editor in chief of Bon Appétit, resigned after an image of him in brownface surfaced as well as claims of instituting unfair working conditions at the magazine.